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Geert Wilders blasts Pakistani cricketer accused of putting a bounty on his head – POLITICO

Dutch prosecutors on Tuesday demanded 12 years in prison for a former Pakistani cricketer, accused of offering around 21,000 euros to someone to assassinate the most prominent far-right politician in the Netherlands, Geert Wilders.

Khalid Latif offered the money to anyone who tried to go after Wilders, prosecutors said, after the Freedom Party leader in 2018 held a cartoon contest calling on people to submit caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad .

The contest has angered Muslims, as any depiction of Muhammad is considered blasphemous. In a clip shared on social media, Latif pledged 3 million Pakistani rupees to anyone who killed “the person who planned this game”, adding: “If I had more, I would give it away”. Wilders eventually canceled the competition.

Neither Latif nor one of his lawyers showed up in court to answer the charges, although Wilders did appear.

Speaking in court, the controversial far-right MP addressed the absent Latif: “As long as I live and breathe, you will not arrest me. Your call to kill me and pay for it is despicable and will not silence me.

The prosecutor said they had tried since 2018 to speak to Latif and requested legal assistance from Islamabad, but received no response.

The court is expected to issue its decision in two weeks, Dutch media reported.

Latif played a handful of international matches for Pakistan before being banned from cricket after being ensnared by watchdogs in a corruption scandal in 2017.


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